If you’re a small business owner, why not make May all about your small business? With the changing season and uncertain times that we find ourselves in, what better time is there to refresh your focus? We know that this pandemic has been extremely tough on small businesses, so we believe you should take this extra downtime to check in with yourself and see how you’re doing. Having a dedicated small business month for yourself empowers you to focus and make the changes you’ve wanted to make, but haven’t had time for. Celebrate your small business by updating your marketing plan, map out ways you can grow your business and trim down the areas that aren’t working. Creating your own small business month will also remind you of how proud you should be of your work.
Let’s go through our isure checklist for some ideas on how to celebrate your small business!
1. Do a small business financial checkup
As a small business, cash flow is crucial. Knowing where your money is going, and how it comes in, is paramount to your businesses’ success. As a simple way to visualize your incoming business over the next 6-12 months, create a line graph. This will give you a visual representation of the money coming in. If there are dramatic drops in that graph, those are the crucial moments where you need to make sure to have a new client(s).
Conversely, look at every dollar you’ve spent and figure out if there are any you can save. One of the most common reasons for wasted dollars is on digital services or tools that bill annually. You pay for them, use them for a couple months, but then haven’t used them again. Consider canceling them (with a partial refund), or at the very least, ensure you are not rebilled automatically. Below is some other financial paperwork to look over during your Small Business Month:
- Bills/Expenses – Aim to pay your bills ahead of the deadline or by the deadline to secure a good credit score
- Payroll – Make sure that all of your staff information and records are up-to-date
- Annual sales – How are your profits?
- Taxes – Be sure to file and pay your tax returns on time, every time
- Invoices – Make sure you are on top of your billing and any money owing to your small business
- Supplier checkup – Are you still getting your money’s worth when it comes to your suppliers? Brush up on your receipts and check to see which ones are worth keeping and when it might be time for a change
Also, if you don’t already have it, consider getting small business insurance from isure to help protect you. Small business insurance will protect you and give you peace of mind in the event of a major financial hardship resulting from unexpected and unforeseen circumstances.
2. Plan your small business marketing
A great task to check off on your to-do list during your small business month is to plan your marketing. How are you currently advertising your business, and if you are not already, how do you plan to? If you do have a marketing plan in place, is it working for you? How can it be improved? Sit down and brainstorm unique and interesting ways to get the word out during your Small Business Month.
Sometimes, the best marketing comes from positioning yourself in ways no one else in your industry does. Do you have an updated and functional website? Are you utilizing social media tools to your advantage? If you’re social media savvy, platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are great ways to promote your business (and most of them are free to use!) If you aren’t, don’t worry. There are external companies you can hire or individual Social Media Managers to do that for you if your budget allows for it. It helps to stand out and capture customers that your competitors aren’t considering!
3. Check your inventory
If you’re a retail business or one that provides service, now is a good time to do a thorough check on your inventory. What do you have an abundance of and what are you running low on? You can use your small business month to make a list of items you need to order or restock in order to stay on top of things.
4. Know what’s happening in your industry
With hectic or troubling times, it can be difficult to watch the news these days. So during your small business month, shift your focus to more productive news and updates. Keep on top of trends in your industry; sign up for monthly newsletters, do some research or browse on social media. The more you know, the better off you will be when it comes to staying ahead of the competition!
5. Consult with your advisors
Now is a great time to check in your with financial advisor, accountant or insurance broker. Review your past year and month-to-month progression to ensure that you are on an upward trajectory. If not, now is a good time to make new goals and discuss a better approach. It may also be a good time to revise or add to your insurance policy, so contact your isure broker today to discuss the best approach.
6. Back up your business data
If you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to ensure that all of your important data is safely backed up using a reliable method, such as cloud storage or external hard drive. That way, you can easily access your data and information in the event that you have an electronic malfunction, fire or theft. We suggest that you make a habit of backing up your data at least once a month.
7. Take some time off
Running a small business means working every day – no breaks, no holidays, no “weekends.” Small business owners are often more stressed than 9-5 workers, for obvious reasons. While you may be able to take an afternoon off for a round of golf, the concept of ‘time off’ is foreign to you. Break that cycle by rewarding yourself with a vacation when it’s safe to do so. If you don’t want to travel far, even a staycation will do! While it may seem counter-intuitive, a break can help improve your business. By taking a breather, it enables you to clear your mind and recharge. When you return to your small business, you may find new ways to improve your company. Not only that, but it’s good for your mental and physical health. A break can help you rediscover your sanity, or at the very least, restore some calm in your life.
All in all, we hope that our checklist above will help you make May a successful Small Business Month. If you have any small business insurance questions, contact an isure broker today!